Simon Toulson is leaving his position as secretary general of the ICF after 15 years in the role ©ICF

Simon Toulson has resigned as secretary general of the International Canoe Federation (ICF) after 15 years in the role.

The Briton will leave his post in April, the ICF announced today.

Toulson will assist the ICF Board with the search for his replacement.

Toulson has previously worked for organisations including the International Olympic Committee, Formula One and English Premier League giants Manchester United.

His time at the ICF spanned four Olympic Games, two Paralympics and three editions of the Youth Olympics.

The ICF paid tribute to Toulson, who they claimed had "also steered the ICF successfully through the difficult COVID-19 pandemic with the ICF emerging from the pandemic in a healthy financial and operational state fit for business".

Most of Toulson's period with the ICF came during the leadership of Spain's José Perurena, who was elected President of canoeing's worldwide governing body in 2008.

Perurena stepped down at the end of last year and has been replaced by Germany's Thomas Konietzko, who comfortably beat Russian challenger Evgenii Arkhipov in the vote at the ICF's Congress in November.

Simon Toulson's time at the ICF spanned four Olympics, including the postponed Tokyo 2020 Games last year ©Getty Images
Simon Toulson's time at the ICF spanned four Olympics, including the postponed Tokyo 2020 Games last year ©Getty Images

"I am honoured and very proud to leave the ICF in a strong position for the future both financially and operationally," Toulson said.

"I am confident I will be leaving it in good hands for its continued success.

"I want to thank the ICF Board for their support throughout, the National Federations, the fantastic athletes of this lovely sport and particularly the ICF staff who have been truly amazing throughout my tenure. 

"Over the years we have created such a legacy and showed that with limited resources you can achieve much if you work as a team."

Konietzko thanked Toulson for his work with the Federation and his "long service and commitment to canoeing and the ICF".

"His leadership has benefited our organisation tremendously over the years," he said.

"He helped navigate the ICF through some difficult challenges and has been responsible for some innovative changes through his professional leadership in modernising and developing our organisation. 

"We wish him all the best for his future endeavours."